It will be disastrous to underestimate any team at the coming African football festival, cautions the Franco-German tactician
Head coach Gernot Rohr maintains that Mohamed Salah’s Egypt remains the Super Eagles’ most challenging opponent at the group stage of the 2022 African Cup of Nations slated for Cameroon in January.
But the former Gabon chief tactician has warned that other group rivals – Guinea-Bissau and Sudan – are capable of causing major upsets if they are underrated.
Nigeria will go up against 23 other African nations in a bid to claim its first continental trophy in eight years. The Super Eagles last lifted the Afcon Cup at the 2013 tournament hosted by South Africa.
Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, and Sudan emerged as Nigeria’s group stage foes after the Afcon draw was concluded last week.
Despite Nigeria being the seeded team in Group D, Egypt are the favourites to finish top of the standings, with the Pharaohs boasting a record seven Afcon honours and one of the continent’s best players in Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
The Super Eagles face the North Africans on matchday one at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua. A loss in that opening match could see the West Africans needing the maximum points against the other group members.
Sudan have only won the Afcon title once in 1970 and are no longer considered one of the continent’s football powerhouses.
Guinea-Bissau only made their Afcon debut in 2017 and have not made it past the group stages.
Still, Rohr is convinced none of them would be pushovers when the tournament kicks off in Cameroon.
As per Cafonline, the former Bordeaux manager said: “Guinea-Bissau may be an ‘offsider’ team, but it’s a good team.
“Sudan is trained by a French technician [Hubert Velud] whom I know well. He did a great job. So all the matches will be difficult.”
The Super Eagles’ first Afcon clash is against Egypt on January 11 before tackling Sudan four days later. The last group match will be versus Guinea-Bissau on January 19, 2022, with all the games scheduled to be played at the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.